Tippet rings get a lot of speculation about whether or not they are necessary and if they are worth purchasing. Below are the most common questions about tippet rings and our best answers.

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What is a tippet ring?

A tippet ring is a small round metal ring used by anglers to tie and connect multiple sections of fishing line rather than making multiple line-to-line knots. Without a tippet ring, anglers connect two or more sections of line together with a complex rigging of knots.

Tippet rings are great for fast leader changes or organizing multiple trailing lines where fumbling with typical knots can become chaotic. Tippet rings can also extend the life of your leaders significantly by eliminating the need to keep snipping the leader when adding tippet.

How do tippet rings work?

Tippet rings work by using Clinch Knots to tie new sections of tippet onto the ring. First, attach your tippet ring to the end of your leader with a Clinch Knot. Then use another Clinch Knot to attach a section of tippet to the ring. 

  1. Use a Clinch Knot to add the ring to your leader.
  2. Snip the length and size tippet you need.
  3. Use a second Clinch Knot to add the new tippet to the ring.
  4. Done!

You can use any size tippet you want as long as you can tie a proficient knot with it to the ring. This means you can use 0x, 1x, 2x, 3x, 4x, 5x, 6x, or 7x tippet. Just note that as you go lighter in size (6x or 7x) you will experience weaker knots on the ring just out of increased friction against the metal.

Are tippet rings expensive?

No, tippet rings aren’t expensive. A pack of tippet rings should cost less than $10. Here at The Fly Crate, a pack of 10 tippet rings costs around $6.95. You can view our pack here. A single tippet ring should last you several years, and the rings should never break. Unless you build and sell leaders with tippet rings, you probably will never have to buy another pack.

Where can you use tippet rings?

The short answer is anywhere you want. You can use tippet rings in just about any fly fishing rig for targeting any species. Tippet rings can be used in any creative way you see fit. For example, many fly tiers use them within their dry flies and nymphs to create a quick tie-off point for trailing flies below. Fly anglers tie them into their custom-built leaders to provide a fast tying point for new sections of tippet.

Here’s a quick list of where tippet rings are commonly used:

  • Fly tying to make quick dropper points on nymphs and dry flies.
  • Euro nymphing leaders for quickly adding new sections of tippet.
  • End of typical tapered leaders for adding new tippet.
  • Built within leaders to easily add multiple flies to one rig.

Are tippet rings any good?

Absolutely! There are more pros than cons to using tippet rings. 

The main con is that some brands of rings sometimes have sharp edges that slice through your tippet. However, it’s easy to avoid that issue when you use only smooth edged rings and up your tippet weight a little. I use tippet rings in every leader I’ve built or adjusted and never had any major issues with tippet rings. 

Pros:

  • Saves money on leaders.
  • Extends the life of your leader.
  • Makes multi-fly rigs easy.
  • Organizes your rigs better.
  • Quickly add new tippet sections.
  • Can be used with dry flies.
  • High test strength.
  • Allows you to be more versatile.

Cons:

  • Can create weak point for tippet snapping at knot.
  • Can slice through tippet if edges are sharp.
  • It’s one more thing to buy.
  • Can be difficult to add ring because of it’s tiny size.

Where do you put the tippet ring?

Start by putting a tippet ring about one foot up from the end of a brand-new leader. You don’t want it at the thinnest end right out of the packaging because it will be too thin to support the ring and any new tippet sections. 

So snip 12-inches off the end and then tie the tippet ring on with a simple Clinch Knot. Now you can add new sections of tippet on with ease right off the ring with another Clinch Knot.

dry dropper fly fishing tips

Can you use tippet rings for dry flies?

Yes! Tippet rings work great for dry flies. 

Many anglers believe that tippet rings are heavy and will drag your dry flies below the surface. 

However, tippet rings weigh very little and are usually suspended within the surface tension, thus preventing them from dragging your rig down. So you can add tippet rings to your dry fly casts without compromising the strength or buoyancy of your leaders and line.

How do you avoid losing tippet rings?

Tippet rings come on a metal snap swivel. These snap swivels are there to prevent you from losing them. Only handle these microscopic tippet rings if it is on the snap swivel, or you will surely lose it. 

Here’s how to attach one without losing it:

  1. Single out the ring closest to the opening on the snap swivel.
  2. Feed the line through the ring, while it’s still on the closed snap swivel.
  3. Tie a simple Clinch Knot, then tighten.
  4. Open the snap swivel and slide the ring out.
  5. Close the snap swivel.
  6. Done!

Do tippet rings spook fish?

No, not that we know. We have no evidence that it does spook fish. Flashy metal objects and foreign objects aggressively hitting the water may scare them, however, tippet rings are so small that we highly doubt that it will spook them. Fish have fantastic eye-sight and will absolutely see the ring drifting past them but it likely won’t raise any alarm.

From my personal experience of using tippet rings over the last decade, my opinion is that tippet rings are kickass. They help keep my euro nymphing rigs organized and make it super fast to change out tippet.

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